by Kaviraj Kunja Lal Bhishagratna | 1907 | 148,756 words
This current book, the Sutra-sthana (english translation), is the first part of this voluminous medical work. It contains a large summary of the knowledge envelopig the medical aspects of Ayurveda. Descriptions of diseases, various diets and drugs, the duties of a surgeon, surgical procedures, medical training; these are only some of the numerous s...
Such an initiation should be imparted to a student, belonging to one of the three twice-born castes such as, the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, and the Vaishya, and who should be of tender years, born of a good family, possessed of, a desire to learn, strength, energy of action, contentment, character, self-control, a good retentive memory, intellect, courage, purity of mind and body, and a simple and clear comprehension, command a clear insight into the things studied, and should be found to have been further graced with the necessary qualifications of thin lips, thin teeth and thin tongue, and possessed of a straight nose, large, honest, intelligent eyes, with a benign contour of the mouth, and a contented frame of mind, being pleasant in his speech and dealings, and usually painstaking in his efforts. A man possessed of contrary attributes should not be admitted into the sacred precincts of) medicine.
Mode of Initiation:—
A Brahmana preceptor should initiate a disciple or student in the following way—A square sand cushion or platform, measuring a cubit in length and breadth, should be laid out on a plot of smooth, level and sacred ground under the benign influence of any auspicious phase of the moon or astral combination such as, the “Karana,” etc. and in a direction of the compass which is held most auspicious to that end. The cushion or the platform should be plastered over with a solution of water and cow-dung; and blades of Kusha grass should be strewn over it. Then the gods, the Brahmanas and the physicians should be worshipped with oblations of flowers, fried paddy, gems and sun-dried rice. Then having drawn straight lines across the Sthandilam so as to meet the top of the furthest side of the square, and having sprinkled them over with holy water, the preceptor should lay down a blade of Kusha grass tied up in the form of a knot, known as the Brahmana, along the side of the sacred cushion to his right, and kindle the sacred fire close to his seat. Then having soaked the twigs of the four sacrificial trees of Khadira, Palasha, Devadaru and Vilva, or of Vata, Oudumvara, Ashvattha and Madhuka in curd, honey and clarified butter, he should perform the rite of Homa according to the rules of a Darvi Homa ceremony. Then libations of clarified butter should be cast into the sacrificial fire with a repetition of the Maha Vyahriti Mantras preceded by the mystic Omkara. After that, libations of clarified butter should be cast into the fire in honour of each of the gods and Rishis (celestial physicians) invoked by repeating the Svaha Mantra, and the disciple should be made to do the same.
A Brahmana preceptor is competent to initiate a student belonging to any of the three twice-born castes. A Kshatriya preceptor can initiate a student of the Kshatriya or the Vaishya caste, while a Vaishya preceptor can initiate a student of his own caste alone. A Shudra student of good character and parentage may be initiated into the mysteries of the Ayurveda by omitting the Mantras enjoined to be recited on such an occasion.
Then having thrice circumambulated the sacrificial fire, and having invoked the firegod to bear testimony to the fact, the preceptor should address the initiated disciple as follows:—
“Thou shalt renounce lust, anger, greed, ignorance, vanity, egotistic feelings, envy, harshness, niggardliness, falsehood, idleness, nay all acts that soil the good name of a man. In proper season thou shalt pair thy nails and clip thy hair and put on the sacred cloth, dyed brownish yellow, live the life of a truthful, self-controlled anchorite and be obedient and respectful towards thy preceptor. In sleep, in rest, or while moving about—while at meals or in study, and in all acts thou shalt be guided by my directions.
Thou shalt do what is pleasant and beneficial to me, otherwise thou shalt incur sin and all thy study and knowledge shall fail to bear their wished for fruit, and thou shalt gain no fame. If I, on the other hand, treat thee unjustly even with thy perfect obedience and in full conformity to the terms agreed upon, may I incur equal sin with thee, and may all my knowledge prove futile, and never have any scope of work or display.
Thou shalt help with thy professional skill and knowledge, the Brahmanas, thy elders, preceptors and friends, the indigent, the honest, the anchorites, the helpless and those who shall come to thee (from a distance), or those who shall live close by, as well as thy relations and kinsmen [to the best of thy knowledge and ability], and thou shalt give them medicine [without charging for it any remuneration whatever], and God will bless thee for that.
Thou shalt not treat medicinally a professional hunter, a fowler, a habitual sinner, or him who has been degraded in life; and even by so doing thou shalt acquire friends, fame, piety, wealth and all wished for objects in life and thy knowledge shall gain publicity.”
Prohibited periods of the study of the Ayurveda:—
The day of the new moon, the eighth day of the moon’s wane, the fourteenth day of the dark fortnight, as well as the corresponding days in the bright one, the day of the full moon, and the meetings of day and night such as (morning and evening) are occasions when the study of the ayurveda is prohibited. Similarly, a clap of thunder heard at an improper season (months of Pausha, Phalguna and Caitra), or a flash of lightning occurring at a time when such phenomena are naturally rare, or an evil befalling one’s country, relations, or king, should be deemed as occasions prohibiting the study of the ayurveda. Moreover, one should not read it in a cremation ground, nor while riding (an elephant, horse, or any) conveyance, nor in a battle-field, nor in a place of execution. A festival or the appearance of inauspicious omens, and the days of the fortnight usually avoided by the Brahmanas in studying the Vedas, as well as an unclean state of the body, should be regarded as occasions prohibiting the study of the ayurveda.
Footnotes and references:
The libations should be offered as follows—Svaha (obeisance) to Brahma, Svaha to Prajapati (the lord of the created beings), Svaha to Ashvins, Svaha to Indra, Svaha to Dhanvantari, Svaha to Bharadvaja, and Svaha to Atreya.